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Thursday, July 14, 2005

 

Two minutes silence …. Not

Coming up to midday today, I was out on patrol and couldn’t get back to base, so I took a dogleg slightly off my beat into the Garden of Remembrance for the two minutes silence. Once there, I switched off my radio and mobile phone, doffed my uniform cap and stood silent just as I could hear one of the local clocks striking twelve. At the time I thought I was out of sight of everyone, head bowed, just alone with my thoughts about last Thursday, counting slowly to one hundred.

What I had not bargained with was a very stupid arrogant white person (Middle class accent, wearing black, cropped hair.) barging up to me and interrupting my private little vigil. “What are you doing?” Demanded this lord of the brain dead. I did not, at this point speak. “I’m talking to you!” I just stood there, head up, looking straight ahead and trying not to respond. He even snapped his fingers in front of my face, which got him the Bill Sticker patented ‘Now you’ve got my attention, what are you going to do about it?’ look. I showed him my watch, tapped the dial and then turned away again. “I’m reporting you!” Yeah, right. What for? I thought.
I almost broke silence when he said “You arrogant bastard!” but elected to keep my tongue behind the hedge of my teeth.

At this point, he waved his finger right under my nose, which made me suddenly wish to bite it. “Bloody Traffic Wardens! I’m taking your number!”
He then made a show of reading my shoulder boards and writing my patrol number down. Whatever he wanted, he was too impatient to wait for the two minutes silence to be up. Could I care less about what he wanted? Not really.

I looked down at my watch, literally willing the second hand to go faster so I could speak and shut Mr Pillock up with a cutting remark. Maybe it’s the heat but I’ve been getting a bit short with people today, not my usual cheery self. Before the two minutes was up he had shoved off in high dudgeon saying he’d see me sacked for whatever it was he was annoyed about. The two minutes up, I put on my cap, walked out of the garden of remembrance past three old chaps sitting on a bench just inside the gate. Just as I closed the gate one of them said, “Well done.” I didn’t even know they were there.

Just to be on the safe side I rang the office and related what had happened. “Don’t worry about it Bill, we’ve had a couple of incidents like this today.” Was the response I got, so I didn’t worry about it.

Later that afternoon I walked past the very same person talking to one of his neighbours in the street. He saw me coming and made some insulting remark, which I didn’t hear (And didn’t care to) before huffing off. Neighbour watched me taking some vehicle details down before stepping over the road and asking. “What did you do to upset George?”
“I was observing the two minutes silence and he wanted to know what I was doing.” I replied. “Last Thursday’s bombing? In London?” When it was quite obvious that the penny hadn’t dropped.

“Oh, right.” Then the look of revelation dawned. “Oh.” Then he grinned as if at some private joke. Neighbour patted me on the shoulder and left, chortling. I think ‘George’ is going to be on the receiving end of a serious piss take when he tells all his mates in the pub tonight about how brave he had been in confronting an evil, wicked Traffic Warden.

Serve him right.

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Location: British Columbia, Canada

Exasperated expatriate expostulations all the way from British Columbia, Canada. As if anyone really cared. Oh, I also watch Icelandic Volcanoes and seismic activity. Don't ask me why.

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